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Anabolic androgenic steroid affects competitive behaviour, behavioural response to ethanol and brain serotonin levels.

Journal article
Authors Ann-Sophie Lindqvist
Pia Johansson-Steensland
Fred Nyberg
Claudia Fahlke
Published in Behavioural brain research
Volume 133
Issue 1
Pages 21-9
ISSN 0166-4328
Publication year 2002
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 21-9
Language en
Keywords Anabolic Agents, pharmacology, Animals, Biogenic Monoamines, metabolism, Body Weight, drug effects, Brain Chemistry, drug effects, Central Nervous System Depressants, pharmacology, Competitive Behavior, drug effects, Ethanol, pharmacology, Male, Motor Activity, drug effects, Nandrolone, pharmacology, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Serotonin, metabolism
Subject categories Psychology


The present study investigated whether anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) treatment (daily subcutaneous injections during 2 weeks with nandrolone decanoate; 15 mg/kg) affects competitive behaviour, and locomotor activity response to a sedative dose of ethanol (0.5 g ethanol/kg). In addition, levels of brain monoamines were assessed. The results showed that AAS treated animals exhibited enhanced dominant behaviour in the competition test compared to controls. The AAS groups' locomotor activity was not affected by ethanol in contrast to the controls who showed a sedative locomotor activity. AAS animals had significant lower levels of serotonin in basal forebrain and dorsal striatum compared to controls. These findings further strengthen the fact that AAS affects behaviour, as well as biochemical parameters. Based on previous studies and results from the present study, we hypothesize that AAS abuse may constitute a risk factor for disinhibitory behaviour, partly by affecting the serotonergic system.

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